West Health is partnering with innovative leaders in the fields of aging, senior nutrition and healthcare to advance a strategy that strengthens malnutrition care and support for seniors in their homes and communities where they live and manage their health.
Malnutrition disproportionally affects seniors, with up to one out of every two at risk for malnutrition in the U.S. The disease-associated cost of senior malnutrition is staggering, estimated to exceed $51 billion annually. While many nutrition programs address food insecurity, a critical risk factor for malnutrition, we aim to create further impact by collaborating with healthcare providers and community-based organizations to work together to screen for malnutrition risk and address the modifiable risk factors that contribute to senior malnutrition.
West Health is conducting innovative research to reduce the incidence of senior malnutrition by improving identification of and risk for malnutrition; strengthening community-based programs’ ability to address the modifiable social risk factors for malnutrition, and promoting best practices to advance comprehensive senior malnutrition support. In addition, we are improving the bridge between healthcare and community-based services, and advocating for legislative and regulatory changes to provide incentives for quality measurement and reimbursement for malnutrition-related activities.
West Health is collaborating with Meals on Wheels America to scale adoption of a technology-based care coordination protocol that enhances home-delivered meal services to improve the health, safety, and well-being of homebound meal delivery clients.
West Health is collaborating with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to develop and test a process to systematically identify senior patients in the emergency department who are at-risk for malnutrition and food insecurity and link them to community-based solutions to address the broader social needs that may contribute to their risk for malnutrition and food insecurity.
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger.
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